Mojave CA (SPX) Feb 25, 2011
In a first for the reusable suborbital launch vehicle industry, XCOR Aerospace announced today that the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), a commercial entity, has purchased six suborbital flights to carry SwRI experiments and payload specialists. This is the first such contract SwRI has issued, and XCOR is proud to be chosen for this opportunity.
"When someone issues a commercial contract with their own money, it really means something," said XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson.
"XCOR feels SwRI signing their first contract with us demonstrates the superiority of the Lynx platform over others in the field. We have the ability to fly up to four times a day, quickly perform an experiment and then return it to the customer. In addition, we offer the best price in class versus the competition."
Each of the six flights will include a SwRI trained principal investigator / payload specialist. This group of talented individuals includes Dr. Alan Stern, former NASA Associate Administrator for Science, Dr. Dan Durda who has flown research missions in NASA f-18s and Dr.
Cathy Olkin, an experienced SwRI researcher and former NASA astronaut candidate. On these flights, the SwRI payload specialists will perform research using biomedical, microgravity, and astronomy imaging experiments conceived and prepared for flight at SwRI. SwRI has an option to purchase three additional flights at any time, providing more value significant flexibility for experimental research.
"These are exciting times for the suborbital research field," said Dr. Stern. "XCOR and SwRI are blazing a pioneering trail with this engagement and setting the stage for others to follow with their experiments."
The capabilities of the Lynx, in particular its responsiveness and low cost of operation provide SwRI and other clients with an unprecedented ability for quick turnaround of key experiments or precious and sensitive samples. Lynx operations will allow customer experiments to go from a runway-side storage facility to the vehicle, then fly to space on a customized flight trajectory and back to an airport-side laboratory in under 30 minutes.
The Lynx offers a level of sample security and assurance not found in other suborbital systems today, while the cost of a Lynx operation is an order of magnitude less than traditional sounding rocket systems.
The Lynx suborbital vehicle is also a robust data collection system with four distinct payload carrying opportunities as either primary or secondary payloads, with locations within the pressurized Lynx cabin or externally exposed to the vacuum of space and the thin air of the upper atmosphere. Payload mass can range from under 1 kg to over 650 kg.
"SwRI is a recognized leader in the field," said Jeff Greason, XCOR Chief Executive Officer. "They are one of the best research firms in the world for space science and engineering, and their researchers have a phenomenal ability to explore innovative concepts. I look forward to the pioneering work this partnership will achieve."
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
Mid East At Forefront Of $7.5 Billion Space Tourism Industry
Abu Dhabi (SPX) Feb 23, 2011
Space and satellite forum to highlight regional business opportunities for private and public sector investors - tourists will fly into space for $25,000 by 2030 The plethora of opportunities for private and public sector investors throughout the region that exist in the commercial space and satellite industry will be examined during the third annual Global Space and Satellite Forum (GSSF), in ... read more
NASA Assessing New Launch Dates For The Glory Mission|
Successful Launch Of REXUS 9
24 hour delay for launch of NASA satellite
SpaceX to focus on astronaut capsule
Russia To Probe Major Planets Before 2023
Advanced NASA Instrument Gets Close-up On Mars Rocks
Good Health Report After Hiatus In Communications
Experiment volunteers take 2nd 'walk on Mars'
The Great Moonbuggy Race
Venus And Crescent Moon Pair Up At Dawn
84 Student Teams Set to Roll At 18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
Google Lunar X Prize Roster Reaches 29 Teams
Can WISE Find The Hypothetical Tyche In Distant Oort Cloud
Theory: Solar system has another planet
Launch Plus Five Years: A Ways Traveled, A Ways To Go
Mission To Pluto And Beyond Marks 10 Years Since Project Inception
Planet Formation In Action
Kepler Triples ExoPlanet Count As Search For Biosphere 2 Intensifies
'Missing' element gives planet birth clues
'Wandering' planets may have water, life
Russia Grounds Launches Of Rokot Carrier Rocket
The First Stage Of Project On Mes-System Mcis Fulfilled
ISRO Tests Rocket Motor, Delays Satellite Launch
University of Ulster Launches Rocket Project with Japan Space Agency
China Mars probe set for November launch
Shenzhou 8 Mission Could Top Three Weeks
U.S. wary of China space weapons
Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts
PS1 Telescope Establishes Near-Earth Asteroid Discovery Record
Record number of asteroids spotted
NASA Releases Images Of Man-Made Crater On Comet
Spectacular Flyby Of Comet Tempel 1 Tests Lockheed Built Spacecraft
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|